November 2018

Third Trimester Tasks:

Birth Matter November 2018

By Laura Maxson LM

Everything about having a newborn is, well, new. Although it doesn’t take long for a parent to become an expert on their own baby, those first few weeks can go a little smoother with some preplanning. Nothing can change the reality of the 24/7-ness of the early days, but here are a few things to check off your list.

Attend a Santa Cruz Baby Wearing meeting before baby comes. They meet monthly, so be sure to get it on your calendar before your last month of pregnancy. Experienced baby wearers are on hand to help answer questions and other new parents are happy to share what works for them. A lending library of baby carriers is available for members to borrow and try out different carriers. The type of carrier to choose will depend on the age and size of the baby, as well as the size and specific needs of the parent. Being ready to wear the baby from day one can be a real game changer. By the end of the first week most parents find they are up and around a bit, maybe even heading out for a stroll in the back yard or a trip to the pediatrician’s office, all made easier by wearing the baby. Babies benefit from being carried, and parents, too, will appreciate the closeness and support of a carrier that also allows two free hands, especially helpful at dinnertime.

Get the car seat correctly installed and inspected well before 37 weeks. It’s one thing if the leg on your Ikea end table ends up a little wobbly, it is quite another if your child restraint system fails to restrain your child in an accident. Every car and every seat is a little bit different – child passenger safety (CPS) technicians must attend a several day training and pass a national test to be- come nationally certified. Car seats for littles on Facebook answers questions including how well certain seats fit in specific cars. Install your safety seat then make an appointment for an inspection, just to make sure. Here’s a list from the County’s Child Passenger Safety Resources page.

–AAA Capitola 831-824-9141

–AAA Watsonville 831-768-4570 (se habla Español)

–Boulder Creek Fire Protection 831- 338-7222

–California Highway Patrol 831- 662-0511

–Capitola Police Department 831- 475-4242 (se habla Español) Wednes- day appointments only

–Santa Cruz City Fire Department 831-420-5280

–Scotts Valley Fire Protection District 831-438-0211

–Watsonville Fire Department 831-768-3209 (se habla Español)

–Dominican Hospital Child Seat

–Safety Event – 831-462-7266

Little ones need diapers – disposable, cloth, compostable or an elimination communication potty for those planning to avoid the whole diaper scene. Check out the options. There are diaper delivery services, delivery by mail, running to Costco or even washing your own. Diaper services deliver cloth diapers and/or compostable diapers, but best of all, they come back and pick up the dirty ones. Cloth diapers are washed and dried and returned ready for baby each week, and compostable diapers are collected and taken to a composter for processing. Compostable diapers deserve to be composted, not just dropped in the trash. Diaper services have been around for generations, as have cloth diapers washed at home. A month’s diaper delivery service can be a great shower or new baby gift. After a month most par- ents are getting back on their feet and ready to take on washing their own diapers or maybe they will want to stick with the service. Don’t worry – diapers are one thing you’ll get plenty of prac- tice with right away.

Look around for a few resource books on babies and breastfeeding to have on hand. A few trusted websites can be helpful, too, but straight up Googling will likely be a little overwhelming when the 3 a.m. questions pop up. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Sweet Sleep are two favorites from La Leche League International. Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding, by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman and the website offer lots of great troubleshooting advice for breastfeeding issues. Wondering if that rash or fever is concerning? Many par- ents keep a copy of, Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two, by William Sears M.D. and Martha Sears R.N.

Most importantly, get out there and talk to other parents and care providers, ideally before your baby arrives, but especially after. Go to the breastfeeding support groups, new mom park days and make some connections.

Laura Maxson, LM, CPM, the mother of three grown children, has been working with pregnant and breastfeeding women for over 30 years. Currently she is the executive director of Birth Network of Santa Cruz County and has a home- birth midwifery practice. Contact her at [email protected] or [email protected]

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